If Guinness handed out world records for routers, D-Link Cloud Router 5700 DIR-865L would be the clear winner. This is the fastest router we've tested by far, capable of transferring a 6GB file in less than 90 seconds. But is speed enough of a reason to pick up this $189 device?
Setup and Install
D-Link has also never kept pace with the slick setup process for Belkin or Cisco routers. Once you unpack the Cloud Router 5700 router and plug in the Ethernet cables, you'll eventually find that you have to use the age-old setup process of typing in the IP address of the router (192.168.0.1) in your browser. Once you do find the advanced settings, you'll find they are fairly straightforward. The setup process took only 10 minutes, since there was no software to install. Mostly, the router configured itself.
However, for the fastest speeds, you have to make sure you stick with a particular configuration. We used two DIR-865L models and set one as a bridge for the first. Then, we connected two high-end HP ENVY 17 laptops to the bridge to test for the fastest speed. Also, the speed requires using the 80Mhz channel only in the 5 GHz band, not the 2.4 GHz band. (The 5.0 band is used most often for media streaming, while the more far-reaching 2.4GHz band is used for data.)
When we stopped using the 802.11AC bridge, network speeds dropped to a more typical level: about 200 Mbps at 5 feet, which is on a par with the Cisco Linksys EA4500, and about 50 Mbps faster than average. The DIR-865L also maintained excellent throughput at distance. From 150 feet away, it averaged 170 Mbps on the 5GHz band, more than double the category average; the only router that came close was the Cisco Linksys EA4500, which notched 62 Mbps from that distance.
The DIR-865L is called a "cloud" router because you can connect to it using a couple of iPhone and Android apps. One is called SharePort Mobile, which can remotely access a USB drive connected to the router. We tested the app on a Google Nexus phone and a Nexus 7 tablet. We played a "Spyhunter" trailer in HD directly from the router without a hitch, as well as the latest Nas album.
The D-Link mydlink cloud app showed router settings, connected devices and even the sites being visited through the router. Configuring these apps was easy; the main problem is that there doesn't seem to be any plan to add more apps to compete with the Cisco EA4500 and 6500 models, which promise the ability to control any Internet-connected device in your home.
D-Link offers some solid Quality-of-Service features as well. We streamed the movie "Thor" on one laptop from the router USB drive and placed a Skype call on another laptop, and the DIR-865L performed both tasks smoothly.
VerdictCisco Linksys EA4500 represents the most well-rounded router, with a user-friendly interface and generally fast speeds. But for those who believe speed is everything, the DIR-865L is tops.
|Ports||4 Gigabit Ethernet|
|Size||9.8 x 6.5 x 2.8 inches|